This One’s For the Girls January 2021
Balsamic Pot Roast

This One’s For the Girls January 2021

What are we doing?

So. Much. Editing. In 2020 we downsized our possessions by about 40%!!!! We moved out unnecessary furniture, clothing, books, DVDs, kitchenware + decor. However, as someone who can appreciate the Marie Kondo method, I recently discovered I am a Swedish Death Cleaner!

I was so proud of Lou + Bug for hopping on this minimalism train with me! They slayed the edit game when it came to games, puzzles, toys + clothing.

The most difficult challenge for Bug? Stuffed animals. She started by creating three piles: keep, donate, trash. All the stuffed animals in the keep pile are stored in a hanging shelf organizer in the closet. Any new stuffed animal needs to fit in the organizer, so taking the time to reassess the collection a few times a year is working well.

For Lou? Her artwork. She loves to save everything, whether it’s pottery, wood, textiles, paper or canvas. Currently she is photographing all of her pieces and plans to create a digital album. New items can be displayed in frames or in her room, and adding pieces to the digital album twice a year will keep the memories alive.

For me? Kitchenware. I got rid of some duplicate utensils, like spatulas and whisks. A lot of the holiday themed serving dishes and small gadgets, like the mini crockpot, headed to the donation box. I also pared down my cake stand collection and tossed anything that was chipped or damaged. Lastly, I purged all of our mismatched storage containers, scratched pots + pans and extra water bottles.

The wild card? Photos. We LOVE photographs of people and places. After sifting through boxes of photos, countless albums + framed pictures, we decided to transfer as much as possible to digital storage. Mr. Pearls + Girls and myself each kept an album of childhood family photos, and Lou + Bug have monogrammed albums with archival photo sleeves. Everything else is being scanned onto the computer or downloaded from Google Photos to be saved on an external hard drive. We hope creating a system that is easy to manage will encourage us to stick with it over time.

What about conservation?

Check out last week’s post for our 2020 Garden Review! This year we plan to grow less variety and more quantity. Tomatoes, green beans, serrano peppers, green peppers, basil, thyme + parsley will make a reappearance, as well as carrots and sugar snap peas. We were also gifted some strawberry seeds! I am so envious of all the gorgeous year round gardens popping up in my Instagram feed, so fingers crossed we can start prepping soon!

What are we listening to?

We are listening to our bodies! In addition to our family’s commitment to continue eating fruits, vegetables + whole grains, we are introducing a new ingredient that I hope will become a pantry staple. I recently discovered einkorn, an ancient grain that has been around for thousands of years! I purchased some einkorn pasta and all purpose einkorn flour in our most recent Thrive Market order to make this cornbread recipe from Farmhouse on Boone alongside a big pot of chili.

Where are we traveling?

Right now we are traveling to gardens through literature! Here are a few gardening books for the bigs and littles to snuggle up with on a cold, winter day:

Mini Farming: Self Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L Markham

Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners by Tammy Wylie

American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America by Michelle Obama

A Teen Guide to Eco-Gardening, Food, and Cooking by Jen Green

A Kid’s Gardening Journal by Alice M Cantrell

We are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines and Kids

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens

What are we eating?

We recently bought an Instant Pot! We’re excited to make homemade yogurt + hard boiled eggs this week. I’m not a gadget lover, but I do love that this small appliance uses about 50% less energy than the stove! If you have a favorite Instant Pot recipe be sure to drop it in the comments below!

It’s been quite chilly in our neck of the woods this month, so I’m sharing my favorite simple recipe to warm up your kitchen and your belly, Balsamic Pot Roast. I’m serving up a forkful with some honey glazed carrots + steamed green beans. Yum!

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